Danish driver Kevin Magnussen believes the future is bright for the Renault F1 Sport works team, and it is this fact that is keeping him motivated during a difficult season. Yet ironically that ‘bright’ future for the French team may well not include Magnussen.
The French car giant have endured a difficult 2016 having returned to the sport as a engine and chassis constructor. K-Mag has scored the team’s only points finish so far this year, which came at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, via a 7th place finish.
Magnussen believes, “I’ve made a few mistakes but [delivered] a few miracles”.
A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws, and Kevin believes his drive in the inadequate Renault F1 car at the 2016 Russian GP was such an occasion. “That’s the big one”, the Dane recalls. “Getting points. We qualified P17, on a track that really wasn’t our track, so to still score decent points was good,” or to coin a phrase ‘miraculous’.
Interestingly, Renault F1 stated this week they are looking for a “charismatic” leader to move the team forward, which appears to suggest either or both current drivers Kevin Magnusson and Jolyon Palmer are on their way out the Enstone back door.
Despite Esteban Ocon being announced today as Manor F1’s immediate replacement for Rio Haryanto, Ocon is rated highly by Renault and could still be in the frame for a race seat in 2017.
Other options being explored by Renault are Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez and even Jenson Button has been considered. Though following his travails as part of the developing McLaren Honda project, Button may feel another ‘start up’ F1 programme is a bridge too far.
Magnussen for now is focusing on the opportunity in hand. “It’s difficult not even racing for points,” admits the Dane. “If you’re racing in P16, P15, chasing someone down, and you do catch him and overtake him, you still get no points”.
Despite his uncertain future, Kevin stubbornly looks to the future to keep himself inspired. “You can always motivate yourself by thinking about next year and the year after – learning as much as possible, preparing yourself for the chance”.
Yet given Renault’s continued refusal to commit to Magnussen for 2017, this self induced mental trickery will only last for so long before the Dane realises his F1 career Part II is also at an end.